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Unconventional Races and Scenic Trails: Having Fun With Running

Unconventional Races and Scenic Trails: Having Fun With Running Tim Reitz How It All Started Story for Run Tri Bike Magazine
Tim Reitz
Year started: 2014

Endurance sports is a broad term with a broad array of participants and events. Athletes will chase milestones and conquer various distances. This last sentence is why Tim Reitz stands out as a trailblazer. Tim is forging his own path through unconventional races and scenic trails.ย 

As part of our “How It All Started“, we dive into Tim’s journey into running, exploring his unique mindset that drives him to embrace races that break away from the standard norms.

The Trail Beckons:

In 2014, Tim’s journey into the world of endurance sports took an unexpected turn when he decided to participate in a 50k race at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Despite being a seasoned road runner preparing for the Richmond marathon, the allure of the trails proved irresistible. Tim recalls, “I’d run a few trail runs during my business trips to Dallas. This can’t be that hard, right?โ€

Transition from Roads to Trails:

Tim’s transition from road running in Chicago to the trails in North Carolina was spurred by his adventurous spirit. Enticed by the camaraderie and scenic views, he found peace in the trails. “I enjoy the physical aspect because you don’t get that hill when you’re running a marathon. Also, I’m almost always with friends,” Tim shares, emphasizing the unique challenges and the beauty of nature that trails offer.

Mindset Evolution – Learning to Embrace the Hills:

In the early days, Tim approached trail running with a typical road runner’s mindset. That consisted of thinking he needed to run every inch of the course. However, a humbling experience at his first 50k race taught him the value of adapting. As he reflects, “I noticed when I hit the flats, I could crush it at that point. All of a sudden I had this energy where I didn’t think I had it before.” Tim’s perspective shifted, and he embraced the strategic approach of walking hills, preserving energy for the long haul.

From Roads to Quirky Races:

Tim’s running journey extended beyond traditional races, leading him to embrace the quirky and unique. Whether it’s conquering the Krispy Kreme Challenge or tackling races with unconventional challenges like stone stairs, Tim thrives on the novelty and unpredictability of these events. “If it’s an awkward race, I’m all for it,” he chuckles, underscoring his adventurous spirit.

Beyond Running – Adding Color to Charlotte’s Streets:

Away from the trails, Tim found a unique way to contribute to his community. His passion for running intersects with art in the form of mural runs. Leading quarterly mural runs through Charlotte, Tim introduces fellow runners to the city’s vibrant art scene. The funds collected during these runs are then donated back to support local artists, infusing life and color into the city.

Looking Ahead – Uncharted Trails and International Races:

As a runner with a desire for the unordinary, Tim looks forward to new challenges. Plans for international races, including the Tarawera 50k in New Zealand, are on the horizon. His attitude towards these aspirations is refreshingly laid-back, embodying the essence of his running philosophy. Tim proclaims that enjoying the journey is the most important, even if plans don’t materialize. This is all part of the adventure.

Inspiring Others to Start Running:

For those thinking about taking the leap into running, Tim offers a simple yet powerful message: “Don’t stop and just keep trying. That’s the only way you’re going to get better.” His willingness to run with anyone, regardless of pace, reflects a genuine passion for the sport and a belief that running is a personal journey with no fixed destination.

Tim Reitz’s story is about the joy of running beyond the conventional. From trails to quirky races, he has embraced the unpredictable nature of the sport. Through his mural runs, Tim not only explores the artistic side of his city but also gives back to the community.ย 

As he continues to chase new horizons, Tim’s story is an inspiration for runners to forge their own paths, find joy in the journey, and perhaps discover a mural or two along the way. If you find yourself in an unconventional race or on a scenic trail, take Tim’s advice and have fun with where you are.